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Planning And Constructing A Great Data Center

Businesses that are ready to undertake a design center construction project need to know how to structure the project so the design center process results in the best structure for their business needs. This article will discuss ways that you can avoid common pitfalls and mistakes in the planning and construction process for a data center.

data center constructionWhen a business first identifies a potential need for a new data center, a full needs analysis should be conducted. If the analysis indicates that new data center construction is an appropriate solution, the next step is beginning the data center design process. After the design is completed, construction begins, and finally the installation of equipment, testing, troubleshooting will take place, followed by orientation and training for employees.

One of the most common pitfalls in commissioning and constructing a data center is failure to build it with current technology. This may seem surprising given that it is a data center, but companies may have many reasons for not getting the most updated technology in their data center, including efforts to cut costs by using older technology or simply not knowing the latest technologies that are available. Before you begin your data center construction, think about consulting a data center professional to determine what kind of technology you should be incorporating so it is optimally designed for your business.

Another common mistake made is not planning for future growth. When it comes to data center build, planning and implementing a data center that is exactly what your business needs today is a recipe for frustration down the line when you need to expand. Obviously no one can know for sure what your needs will be 5 to 10 years from now, but leave some room for expansion in the future so you will not have to go through the process of designing an entirely new data center in just a couple of years.

A third common misstep with data center construction is failure to account for possible budget cuts down the line. Even if your upper management is on board with the project and approves the budget, often times as the deadline for completion nears, there is increased pressure to finish the project sooner than expected, and to cut costs. This is a major capital expenditure for any company, so it is important to have a plan B in place if your executive team or board of trustees begins asking to cut costs down the road.

Finally, many teams that undertake a project like data center design and construction have difficulty simulating real-world conditions, and therefore fail to account for the level of heat loads and data loads that will be required to run the system seamlessly on a daily basis. Additionally, if the data center design you have that is specifically designed for your business requires you to put multiple systems together, they may not have been tested in proximity to one another and could cause potential problems. While it may be difficult to have a test-run that is a perfect simulation for a true scenario that your data center may face, it is important to understand that once you get it all put together and running, it may require some tweaks.

If you have an adequate plan that accounts for the many known and unknowns in data center construction, and you understand that you may also have to change that plan as the project develops, you will be ready to construct a data center that is optimally designed to handle your business needs today and well into the future.

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Comparing Types Of Data Center Cooling

When considering a data center cooling device, there are many types available to get the job done.  In order to choose the one to best meet your needs, you should know what each what offers and its advantages and disadvantages.  Having a good cooling system is key to saving your equipment.

High density in-row cooling has cooling coils and fans that draw air over the coil and put it back into the room in the form of cool air.  Mostly they are chilled water that is cooled with a heat exchanger that rejects the heat.  Spacing between racks is important in order to get appropriate data center cooling system.  This system can take up a lot of room and use a lot of energy, but it can provide effective cooling to the area.

Another option for computer room cooling is using a portal air conditioner.  These devices can fit in tight, harder to reach spaces.  They provide a quick solution to heating problems by cooling a very small, localized area quickly and efficiently.  Often times there are hot spots in an area of the room.  Instead of cooling the entire room and using unnecessary energy, portable air conditioners provide the focus needed.  They create a safe environment to protect equipment and systems.  With the use of programmable controls, you can easily change the settings to keep equipment cool late at night or during the weekend.

The CRAC/HVAC system is another way to cool your data center.  Data center cooling is the main focus when there is a lot of equipment running in one area.  These rooms cannot tolerate large fluctuations in temperature at any given time.  The CRAC/HVAC system stabilizes the temperature to avoid damage of equipment.  Hot spots in a room can be a real challenge and pose a threat to the operation.  This system monitors and maintains the temperature by equally distributing air and humidity within the data center.

A CRAC/HVAC setup is replacing traditional air conditioners.  They are strategically placed in the room in order to successfully cool the area.  One placement is through an elevated floor where cold air rises through sections.  The air flows through the racks and exits at the back of the racks after it has picked up heat.  The hot air goes to the CRAC/HVAC intakes, which are usually located above the floor.  This provides steady air flow in the room.  Sometimes these systems are also used above the computers by taking the heat that has escaped or hovered there.  To maintain an even temperature throughout the room, the system needs to address all sections of the room.  Not only is it important to add cool air to the room, but also it is equally as important to take away the hot air, which the CRAC/HVAC provides.

It is important to know the needs of your data center.  It is also important to choose the right cooling system in order to protect the equipment.  Whether you use a high density in-row cooling system, portable devices or a CRAC/HVAC system, you should know what you want to cool and what your budget allows in costs to install and maintain it.  Cooling occurs close to the equipment, which is a real advantage.  They are installed on the floor and usually suspend to provide localized and focused cooling of all the equipment.

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Importance Of Hiring Data Center Construction Companies With AZ Specialty Computer Room Licenses

It is always wise to hire a spe t, especially when it comes to technology.  Data center construction companies often times have a computer room.  Hiring a person with a computer room license can be in the best interest of your company.  This is because a spe t knows the intricate details needed to run the data center effectively.

data center construction companySomeone with a computer room license will understand what is necessary to make the computer room run effectively.  One component is knowing the importance of keeping the machines cool and air-conditioned.  The operator understands power supply and air equipment.  Data center construction companies can provide the knowledge needed and give equipment recommendations as they come up.

A licensed contractor possesses the expertise and knowledge to run all facets of planning, engineering and design.  The entire job can be managed, built and updated through a licensed person.  Some of the details are complex, especially when it comes to installation and upgrading.  This is why using a data center construction company is a good long-term option for the business.  You can rely on this professional to get the job done.

Data center construction companies are committed to providing superior service.  It does not always have to be at a high price.  Many spe ts offer their services at an affordable price and affordability does not have to sacrifice effectiveness.  As a licensed person, he or she will try to reduce operating costs by meeting expectations in a timely manner.  You will be assured that you are getting outstanding service for your entire job.

Spe ts are licensed to do a number of things.  Some of these include planning, designing, building, relocating, expanding and installing.  Instead of hiring a specific person for each job, this licensed professional is trained to meet the needs of all of these components that will come up at some point in your business.  With one person, you can save a lot of cost in the long run.  A professional with a license has been trained to ensure the projects they are in charge of meet code and stay on schedule.  In order to manage projects effectively, they need to have a professional in charge that stays organized and keeps everything on task.

The data center build person needs to have the leadership qualities to move from the decision process to the design and delivery phase.  Having seamless transitions can be a determining factor to success.  Without the specialization and knowledge of processes, costs to the company could be increased and there could be more downtime while issues are being fixed.

The benefits of having a licensed professional are numerous.  Data centers are an important aspect of a company and require routine maintenance.  Having someone you know and trust to perform this maintenance can make a big difference in the future of the company.  Do not delay in considering a professional with a computer room license for the task at hand.  It makes sense to hire someone with the most knowledge and expertise of the systems and how to keep them working as best they can.  Without this knowledge, the data center is sure to have ongoing problems that require a lot of money to fix.

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The Right Uninterruptible Power Supply

When it comes to business, power outages are no small concern. They can result in lost data and lost income, sometimes to the extent of ruining a small business. Any number of factors can knock out power on the grid or create fluctuations in power that can shut down IT equipment unexpectedly. Power failures force devices to reboot. As a result, all unsaved data is lost in the blink of an eye. While few power outages last longer than two days, loss of critical data or damage to key components can threaten the viability of your business. In order to avoid such devastating circumstances, businesses should safeguard their data center equipment using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that provides surge protection as well as battery backup.

data center equipmentThere are a few types of UPS system. These types include offline, line-interactive, and online. Finding the right UPS for the equipment in your data center is imperative. An offline UPS, which is also referred to as a standby UPS, represents the most affordable option for the protection of your data center equipment. Unfortunately, it is also tends to be the least reliable as well as the least flexible system. It runs on AC as the main power source and switches to battery power if that power source is interrupted, thus protecting any devices it supports. Battery time is usually short, just long enough to save data and shut down systems manually. An offline UPS may be adequate for non-critical computers or a very small business, but it is generally insufficient, even for most small businesses.

A line-interactive UPS is much more suitable for small to mid-sized businesses than offline varieties. When a surge or lack of voltage occurs, a line-interactive UPS can correct voltage force without having to switch over to battery power. It can effectively reduce the number of fail-overs as well as associated reboots. A positive side-effect of this capability is longer battery life. A line-interactive system is definitely a step up from an offline UPS, but still may not provide you with the protection you really need.

Online uninterruptible power supplies are really the best option for avoiding data loss and data center equipment damage. An online UPS proves the most efficient protection and backup battery available. It is specifically designed for critical internet technology equipment. While the device does access its power from the local AC utility, this power is converted immediately to direct current, and then converted back to AC once again.  This process effectively filters out both noise and spikes, providing cleanly modulated power to your data center products. In the event of an outage, the battery for the online UPS will take over far more seamlessly than offline or line-interactive types. This is the result of it being in connection with the power inverter and consistently remaining online in the space between the power source and the data center equipment.

Choosing the right UPS for your business isnít difficult. An online UPS is always the superior choice, although an offline or line-interactive UPS may be adequate in some circumstances. The larger your company or the more rapid its growth, the more imperative it will be for you to use an online system.

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The Process Of Constructing A Data Center

Data center construction is a huge undertaking. Many things can go awry along the way. To avoid unnecessary frustration in the form of wasted time and resources, it is beneficial to follow a standardized process. By having a standard process in place responsibilities are clear, decisions remain those that have been previously determined, and communication lapses are avoided. Any party involved in the construction of a data center may do their part excellently, but if they are not functioning as a team, the entire project is likely to experience unnecessary hiccups. Responsibilities and lines of communication are both clarified when a standardized process is in place.
Using a data center build process that is not standardized or does not exist at all carries a number of hazards. Defects due to lack of process tend to turn up in the late stages of the project, or even following project completion. These defects are rarely the fault of physical components, but rather stem from planning and process failures. Such defects can take inordinate amounts of time to repair and typically involve extensive back tracking. A well designed process has inherent intelligence that guides the project from planning to deployment and on to successful completion. As a result, project time frame is reduced and rework is successfully avoided. This minimizes business interruption and allows the project to culminate as expected, absent of unwanted surprises.
A standardized data center construction process not only brings clarity, it also creates repeatability and efficiency. Having all players on the same page with a standardized process safeguards the project against potentially costly miscommunication. Multiple missteps and common pitfalls are common during the deployment of any construction project. Even small errors can lead to an ineffective final result. Many of these errors and pitfalls can be completely avoided when a standardized process is agreed upon and followed by partners, vendors, and users alike.
Having a standardized construction process does not require the sacrifice customization. Nor does it require that every project be identical. Obviously, not every project will be interchangeable and not every possible step will be necessary in every project. What is important is to follow best practice guidelines that can be adapted to any particular project. A standardized construction process should be organized into modular units that include multiple steps and the tasks that must be carried out within each of these steps. The strategic use of a modular and standardized architecture has proven to produce predictable, efficient, and reliable results. It is used successfully in various endeavors, and aptly applies to data center construction.
Every data center construction project begins with a specific business need. This need may be the vague interpretation of a general business concern, or may not be pointed and highly specific. Once a need is identified, an end solution can be determined. At this point, a construction project can be planned and standardized processes can be effectively implemented. Modular units and multiple steps can be included and all parties can be made aware of the process as a whole. While it may be tempting to dig in and get started, taking the time to plan out the process will pay off handsomely in the form of efficiency, accuracy, and a quality end result.

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Data Center UPS Replacement Process

Data center maintenance is an important factor in maintaining your equipment.  With proper maintenance, you can prolong its life and reduce overall costs by continuing to use your current equipment.

 

First, you should start by checking the red LED battery on the UPS and seeing whether it is illuminated red.  If it is, then the battery needs to be replaced.  Replacing batteries is routine data center maintenance.  Make sure the UPS is plugged into the wall so it increases battery life or faulty replace battery indicator.  Changing the battery is usually a most cost effective option than completely replacing the UPS unit.
Start by tilting the top edge of the bottom front cover and unhooking it.  Set it aside and remove the door screws and open the door.  Make sure you grip the wires and pull to disconnect the batteries from the unit.  Remove the foam spacer along with all sets of batteries.  Do this carefully because they are heavy.  Slide the batteries in and hold down the connector so everything fits.  Do not forget to put the foam back, close the door and replace the screws along with the lower front cover.  Take the old batteries to a recycling center.
Other ways of UPS maintenance is to keep it electrically grounded at all times.  You should make sure you do not overload the processes.  If it shows any distress, unplug it and check for problems and repair accordingly.  Changing the battery is usually the most common maintenance aspect of your UPS because it is the most vulnerable and prone to failure.  To make sure it is not telling you to change the battery when it really does not need it, recalibrate the battery sensor a couple times a year.
To decrease data center maintenance and battery replacement, you can extend your battery life.  To do this, do not expose them to extreme temperatures such as hot, cold or even humidity.  To recalibrate the battery, you should deep-discharge and recharge the battery while the unit is in special test mode.  Recalibration should also occur when installing new batteries.  Be careful not to deep discharge too often because this shortens battery life.
Wait for the low battery alarm or indicator before replacing the batteries.  It is not recommended to store batteries for a long period of time waiting for replacement because this will also shorten their life.  It may be tempting to replace the entire UPS unit when the batteries need to be replaced.  Often times a battery failure looks much like other failures within the system.  A new battery will not compromise your UPS system.  Replacing the batteries is a much more cost effective way of data center maintenance. The other option is to completely replace the unit, but your batteries will still need to be replaced at some point.  If you constantly replace your UPS unit when a new battery is sufficient, you will increase your overall costs tremendously.
When choosing a replacement battery, do some research to find out which one will be most effective for the unit you are using.  Once you start the process of replacing them, read the directions on how to do it correctly and how to prolong its battery life.

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On Site Data Center Maintenance – Battery Monitoring

Data center maintenance includes monitoring batteries and testing them appropriately.  You need to find out how much charge is left and how long it will last.  When conducting battery testing, you need to specify the test conditions so you can obtain repeatable results.  The factors involved are method, temperature, load and duty cycle.

data center maintenanceQualification testing is one way to figure out whether a battery is a good fit and it is fulfilling its purpose.  Mechanical testing is another simple test to determine accuracy and environmental testing uses environmental conditions to see how the battery reacts.  Finally, abuse testing verifies that the battery is not an immediate threat to the user.

When it comes to data center maintenance, battery testing is an important factor to consider.  Not having optimal performance of your batteries can cause a lot of money and headache.  Cycle life of batteries can be decreased due to uncontrolled temperature in the area through cycle testing.  Load testing shows whether the battery can produce enough power when needed.

Prevention is key to the success of the battery.  It is important to know the warning signs of battery failure and to test appropriately so you can do the proper maintenance or make the right adjustments.  Having the right temperature is key to making your battery last longer in your data center facility.  Typically, you need to have a regular schedule of checking battery power.

You should have an expert on batteries present for all data center maintenance.  To determine the current state of health of your battery, you need to have a battery analyzer.  This gives you a quick reading on the battery and measures different things.  You can then act accordingly based on the reading

Data center maintenance, specifically battery testing, is an important component that cannot be overlooked.  Without a well functioning battery, your data center could be useless to you.  Through testing, you can stay ahead of any problems and replace batteries as needed before they fail.  Without proper testing, you wait for the problem or failure to arise and then problem solve it by replacing the battery.  This could cause unnecessary downtime of the data center.

With an on site spe t, data center maintenance occurs on a regular basis.  Having a spe t might cost extra money to the company, but with regular testing, it can thwart a potential disaster.  It is all about checks and balances and using the knowledge of someone to save the company money long term.  This can be done through regular battery tests.  Batteries do not last forever, so they will eventually need to be replaced.  It is important to stay on top of this maintenance.  If you do not check the battery and how it is functioning, it could cause an emergency situation to get the battery replaced.  By hiring an on site spe t, these emergency situations will lessen because your spe t will know the ins and outs of each battery in the data center.

With the right spe t, he or she will carry out the right tests on the battery in order to prolong its life and divert potential future problems.  Do not hinder your data center by neglecting the importance of having your batteries tested.

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Benefits of Data Center Equipment – The Eaton UPS 9355

data center equipmentWhen choosing data center equipment, the first step is to take the requirements of the data storage and transmission, and separate them into physical servers.  These servers are the computers that perform data storage and transmission exclusively – they are not designed to perform calculations, receive mouse or keyboard inputs, or display screen results like a commercial portable computer.  The size and placement of these servers is part of the physical design of the data center.

The second step when choosing data center equipment is to design the power distribution.  The main power input, either from an electrical source or from an electrical generator enters the data center and is distributed among the servers and the supporting equipment for the data center.  One of the key pieces of equipment for power distribution is the UPS (uninterruptable power supply).  The general purpose of this equipment is for reliability of the data center performance.

Many home computer users are familiar with the commercial grade UPS units available for their personal computers.  These can be essential for computer users in areas where the power is not reliable.  The main purpose of these units is to give the user time to exit out of critical applications and save associated data, and to cleanly boot down the computer if a blackout persists.

A corporate grade computer designed as part of the data center equipment setup has these duties and more.  One of the first requirements of data center performance is reliability, which is measured as downtime in parts per million.  Roughly speaking that means that the data center can only be down one second in a week.  As far as power is concerned, the main guardians of this reliability are the UPS devices.

An excellent example of a high-reliability corporate uninterruptable power supply for data center equipment is the Eaton 9355 UPS.  One of its powerful features is the premium double-conversion power supply.  This means that the output of the UPS is generated by stepping down the input voltage in two stages, with filters on each stage.  This gives a very clean output power supply to the servers for extra-reliable performance.  The Eaton 9355 also offers scalable battery runtimes.  This refers to the major backup mechanism of a UPS which is a storage battery.  The battery capacity determines how long each unit can supply the specified server load during a continuous power blackout.  This helps the servers in the data center design be scalable as well.  As new data center clients increase the need for the number of scalable servers, the power distribution units need to scale their capacity and distribution as well.  This is the goal for scalable battery runtimes on the UPS units.  These runtimes can be controlled through an optional integrated control module which may be supervised by a central control computer.  It includes the ability to bypass the UPS units for maintenance.

The Eaton 9355 UPS offers an excellent capacity to size ratio.  Its small footprint helps maximize the efficiency of the power distribution components for the data center.  The tower construction matches standard server racks for data centers.  It is designed to manage the 3-phase power requirements of an advanced data center.  The Eaton 9355 UPS is an excellent choice for part of a data center equipment setup for power distribution.

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The Power Of Kohler Data Center Generators

Managers who have designed the power distribution system for their data center equipment based on Kohler backup generators have found that their data centers are virtually uninterruptable.  The reliability that they can offer to their customers is unprecedented.  In addition, data center equipment is now chosen to run at the highest efficiencies possible in order to reduce the cost of power to a minimum.  Indeed, some data centers are trying to get a green rating, and find that appropriate Kohler data center generators help them reach that goal.

Without any on-site power-generating data center equipment, the ability to handle power outages for a particular data center is limited.  This function is generally performed by a UPS (an uninterruptable power supply) which consists of a battery connected in parallel with the delivery wires.  During normal operation, the plant power is transmitted straight through the UPS while a trickle of current charges and maintains the charge on the backup battery.  During a power outage, the plant power is cut, and the battery power automatically switches from drain to supply.  This system will continue to power the servers for the capacity of the battery, until they discharge.  The discharge time is chosen to match the 99th percentile of power outages that occur in that region.  Therefore, the system can deal with most outages through the battery backup.

However, extreme instances can engender circumstances exceeding the abilities of a reasonably-costed UPS system to maintain operations.  These can include such catastrophic events as a downed transmission tower, a prolonged electrical storm, or a extended snow storm.  Modern data centers cannot compete well in the market if their reliability plan does not include contingency strategies for these events.

Data center managers are turning to Kohler generators for the reliability portion of their data center equipment.  During extended blackouts, electricity is generated on site to back up the municipal supply.  With the proper choice of Kohler generator, data centers can be designed to be virtually uninterruptable in the face of all reasonable contingencies.

These days a huge selling point for data centers is that they obtain a green rating.  This looks good for their environmentally-conscious clients, and as they cut costs through efficient energy, they save those costs for their clients as well.  The industry standard measure for the data center efficiency is the PUE (power usage effectiveness) rating.  This is the ratio of the total power consumed at the entire data center in proportion to the power consumed strictly in the IT equipment, the data servers.  If all of the input power went to the servers, the PUE would equal one.  This would be an ideal situation, but difficult to obtain in practice since a considerable portion of the input power must go to the HVAC (heat, ventilation, and cooling system) to maintain the safe operating temperatures for the servers.  It is becoming standard to publish the PUE for all data centers which at the current time average 1.8.  Ultra-efficient centers have reportedly been able to reduce their PUE to an astounding 1.05, cutting their energy costs by an amazing 40%.

Natural gas Kohler electrical generators have taken advantage of the PUE weighting factor for natural gas of 0.31 to augment the municipal supply (in addition to backing it up) to get PUE factors below 1.0.  The first facility to do so has been built in the Nevada desert and intends to meet PUE ratings of 0.96.

Reliability and efficient power generation are strong reasons for including Kohler generators as part of the data center equipment.

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The Importance Of Preventative Data Center Maintenance

Your organization depends on its data center to provide the electronic information required for daily operations. There isn’t a single day when the data center isn’t used.  It is accessed around the clock by employees in the immediate location as well as those working via remote access.  Employees in far-flung branches are also depending on the organization’s data center to be there whenever they need it.  Deals can’t be made and vital decisions can’t be reached without the information stored in the data center.  Because the data center is such an important part of your organization’s computer network, you need to make sure that it is regularly maintained.  Periodic repairs need made, old components must be removed and new one installed.  As the computer network grows, a data center maintenance team will need to come in and check to make sure that the center is handling all the new information correctly.  All of these tasks have a price tag attached to them and as every member of an organization knows, those little price tags add up quickly.  One great way to save money on your need for routine data center maintenance is to have a preventative maintenance plan with a qualified data service firm.

 

Preventative maintenance is a necessary part of owning and operating a data center.  Even though all data centers are designed to be durable, stable, and highly secure, you have to be aware that regular upkeep is required if your organization’s data center is going to last as long as it has the potential to.  Preventative data center maintenance includes a thorough check of all components to assess the efficiency and responsiveness of each element.  If a component is slow to respond or entirely unresponsive, it will need to be replaced.  These small problems don’t take very long to fix.  During repairs, there will be little or no noticeable system downtime.  No one in the organization has to have their workflow interrupted by the preventative maintenance taking place.  However, if regular maintenance is not performed, the little problems will begin to compound and turn into larger ones. The money you thought you were saving by skipping a preventative maintenance check will have to be spent many times over when it becomes necessary to repair large portions of the data center.  Larger center repairs may require system downtime, which will slow workplace productivity to a considerable degree.

 

It’s clear how important it is to have preventative data center maintenance performed on a regular basis.  A great way to ensure that your data center is regularly maintained is to purchase a service plan.  Many data service firms provide these maintenance plans to organizations just like yours.  Your service plan is a flat rate cost, so you’re never caught by surprise.  You don’t have to waste time calling one service firm after another asking for quotes in order to find a good deal.  You’ll know exactly how much you’re paying, so you can always be certain that you’re getting a good deal.  And because your preventative maintenance plan will keep those small problems from turning into large ones, you’ll save a lot of time because your data center will never need to be taken offline for extensive repairs.

 

Purchasing a data center maintenance plan for your organization is one of the best things you can do.  Keep your valuable data center in good repair through regular preventative maintenance checks.

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